At Tuesday’s Cumberland council meeting, Coun. Jesse Ketler brought forward a motion to declare a climate state of emergency in the village.
However, she suggested postponing a discussion until the Village can determine actions to go along with the declaration.
This move is in response to an October 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change detailing the dangers of global temperatures rising over 1.5 C. Following this report, many municipalities across Canada and B.C. have declared climate states of emergencies, including Vancouver, Richmond, Powell River, and the Capital Region District on southern Vancouver Island.
“I don’t want to declare a state of emergency without having some actions tied to it so I would prefer to refer this declaration to our strategic planning session which is taking place in less than 60 days in June,” said Ketler.
In 2015, the Village joined other communities in the Blue Dot Movement to declare the right to a healthy environment. As part of the movement, Cumberland has been a part of the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program and has been carbon neutral since 2013. They have also made moves towards cleaner air quality, conservation of forest land, putting in place environmental protection areas.
The Village also collects renewable landfill gas and curbside organics and is working on a collaborative vehicle charging station network.
Council unanimously agreed to discuss declaring a climate emergency at June’s Strategic Priorities meeting.